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Reviewing the legal limitations of exculpatory clauses

The unanticipated death of a loved one in Bozeman may leave a family despondent. That despair may only increase if those affected by it feel as though they have no legal recourse. You may have these same thoughts if your family member or friends died while participating in an activity for which he or she signed a liability waiver. We here at The Law Firm of Cok Kinzler PLLP can tell you that such contracts are often not valid.

Exculpatory clauses and liability waivers may offer some degree of protections to property owners or service providers that own or run operations that produce an inherent risk. However, there are limitations to such agreements. According to Montana state law, any exculpatory clause or contract is invalid if it looks to absolve anyone of liability for the following actions:

  •          His or her own fraud
  •          Any injuries he or she causes to another
  •          Any damages he or she inflicts on another’s property
  •          His or her own willful or negligent violation of the law

Thus, if your loved one is killed while visiting an amusement park or engaging in an activity that is later found to not be in compliance with local safety codes and standards, then the door may be opened for you to pursue legal action. The same may be true for situations where an activity or service provider’s own actions caused your family member or friend’s death. The only exception to this law would be sporting or recreational activities that have inherent risks or could present a risk due to ordinary negligence. Even then, you are permitted to challenge the validity of any waivers associated with it.

You can learn more about the laws regulating wrongful death claims by continuing to browse through our site. 

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Cok Kinzler PLLP
35 North Bozeman Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715

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